What Does it Cost to Live Here?
The first thing you should know about Mount Vernon is that it is a bit more costly than you may expect. The second thing you should know it's crowded. With a population of around 12,000 crammed into five square miles, there are nearly 2,300 people per mile. However, there are numerous housing options to choose from including one-bedroom apartments and rental houses.
In relation to property values, the average cost has tripled in the past decade. Property values in the area are on the rise, and around Mount Vernon, they are nearly twice that of the Virginia state average. Of course, this is due to the amount of history and the number of politicians living in the area; well-known people tend to draw high value. On the other hand, modifying any part of a major historical area like Mount Vernon carries costs.
How Long Should I Start Looking Before I Make a Decision?
Even though purchasing a home might be out of the question unless you want to become very good friends with a mortgage payment, renting an apartment in Mount Vernon is a much better option. There are numerous places to rent in the area through both real estate companies and private landlords. Real estate companies tend to have more amenities, but private landlords are easier to negotiate with. You might be able to get a better deal by renting an older home in the area. In either case, you should start searching well ahead of time; finding the best deal on a place to live is essential to cutting costs in your move.
What Do I Need to Successfully Move In?
Make sure you have all the important documentation with you: credit history, proof of income, past rental history, etc. And make sure you've got a clear idea of what you're looking for. While many of the homes in the area are beautiful, not all are practical. A large number of the homes were built during colonial times and are not the most energy efficient, which will make it even more expensive and less comfortable during the sometimes harsh winters of Virginia. Because of this, it's often better to find a modern two-bedroom apartment and appreciate the view rather than live in one of the old houses.
Mount Vernon isn't really divided into neighborhoods so much as it is designated by landmarks. The city is bordered by the Potomac River to the south and Fort Belvoir to the west. To the north lies Huntley Meadows Park, and a small creek called Little Hunting Creek marks the east boundary. Property values are higher along the Potomac and in the more historical areas of Mount Vernon.
The area is especially quiet. Mount Vernon lacks the chaos of major cities, and the natural beauty of the scenery is one of the major draws of the area. There is almost no public transportation to speak of; residents drive their own vehicles or walk anywhere they need to go. Many bike along nature trails in the various parks.
Many of the rental properties are more modernized, lacking some of the charm of the colonial architecture. Residents of Mount Vernon can often be found in one of the city's many parks (George Washington Grist Mill State Park, Mt Zephyr Park, Grist Mill Park, Washington Mill Park, etc.) or at the Mount Vernon Country Club, chatting with friends or vying for a hole in one.
Some popular places to dine in Mount Vernon include the Rachawadee Thai Cafe, the Il Granaio, an authentic Italian restaurant, and the Kyoto Kitchen, a Japanese cuisine option. There are plenty of places that provide 'soul food' as well, with quite a few pubs and breweries to relax at after a long day of work.